STaRR Training

 

 

 

 

 

 

Program Overview

With support from the Victorian Department of Health, Western Alliance are delighted to provide our centrepiece research capability building program, known as the STaRR (Supporting Translation of Research in Rural and Regional areas) Program.

The STaRR Program was informed by a comprehensive scoping exercise, which included a systematic scoping review of the research education literature and the Victorian Rural/Regional Research Training Needs Project.

The STaRR Program builds on the support from our Research Translation Coordinator positions and includes a range of translation-focussed research training activities and resources, as well as support for organisation research planning.

The STaRR training supports three key groups:

  • Research mentors
  • Health organisation managers and leaders
  • Emerging health practitioner researchers in health organisations across our region

Over 40 research mentors have been identified across the region and have participated in online workshops to build their research translation knowledge and skills.


STaRR Emerging Researcher Training

STaRR training aims to provide health staff with the foundational research skills needed to develop a research translation-focused project (i.e., a project that will develop or use existing evidence to underpin change in practice or policy).

Approximately 2-4 hours of additional project work is required each week for 10 weeks (approx.) between the first, second, and third workshops to develop a research protocol or proposal.

STaRR participants will receive mentoring support and access to resources to assist them. We will pair you with a research mentor prior to the workshops or you can nominate your own mentor.

There will be an opportunity for STaRR participants to apply for grant funding to progress their research idea or translate the findings into practice post completion of the training course.

Who can participate?

All staff working at Western Alliance member health organisations (Barwon Health, Colac Area Health, East Grampians Health Service, Grampians Health, Maryborough District Health Service, Portland District Health, South West Healthcare, Western District Health Service, Western Victoria PHN) are invited to apply for the STaRR program. We encourage those with limited or no prior research experience to apply.

Western Alliance covers the cost of the training program, so it is free to participate.

Workshops overview

The training comprises three workshops that will be facilitated via a mix of in-person and online sessions. The workshops will be underpinned by the principles of research translation and will cover the following broad topics:

General introduction to research

Common data collection techniques

Developing a researchable question

Introduction to data analysis

Ethics and governance

Research dissemination and impact
Introduction to research methods Consumer and stakeholder engagement
Introduction to a research translation framework Working with your mentor

Your manager or team leader will be invited to specific parts of the workshops relevant to their role.

How to complete your EOI

1.Identify a translation-focused research idea (a project that will lead to changes in practice or policy). For support developing your research idea and completing your EOI, please contact your Western Alliance Research Translation Coordinator where available:

2. Read the STaRR Training program guide (download guide here) and watch the instructional video presented by Dr Olivia King: watch video here. Passcode 9=w^AHWY

3.Complete the EOI (download EOI form here) with your manager and ask that they sign it

4.Nominate your team members. We recommend a minimum of two additional people to support the project, one must be your team leader or manager.

5.Submit your completed EOI by 5pm on Friday 2 August to starrsupport@deakin.edu.au

Timeline

Please note, training dates and the venue for the first workshop are subject to change. We will give you as much notice as possible about any changes.

Expressions of interest

• Open 3 June

• Online information session: to watch a recording, click here. Passcode ?TMDG7M+

• Close 2 August at 5pm

• Notification by 13 August

STaRR Workshops

Workshop 1: 4 September (in-person in Colac)

Workshop 2: 9 October (likely to be in-person in Colac)

Workshop 3: Week of 4 November or 18 November (online)

Please contact Olivia King or Peter Kelly via starrsupport@deakin.edu.au for more information about the STaRR program.

 


OPEN NOW: STaRR Emerging Researcher Seed Grants & Research Translation Fellowship

To support STaRR Emerging Researchers conduct a translation-focused research project, Western Alliance is offering two funding opportunities in 2024:

  • STaRR Emerging Researcher Seed Grants of up to $5,000 available for past STaRR participants to conduct a research project to generate new evidence, and
  • Research Translation Fellowships (STaRRships) with funding of up to $15,000 available for past STaRR participants and past Western Alliance Emerging Researcher grant recipients, to translate research evidence into practice.

The total funding pool is $60,000. To be considered, applicants must work in a Western Alliance member health service or primary health network. The Principal Investigator (PI) must have attended at least one STaRR Emerging Researcher workshop prior to their application (not including STaRRlite).

Which grant do I apply for?

If you are planning to conduct a research project to generate evidence to translate into practice or policy, you are encouraged to apply for a Western Alliance STaRR Emerging Researcher Seed Grant.

If you have conducted a research project and generated evidence to translate into practice or policy, or you have identified existing evidence to be translated into practice or policy in your setting, you are encouraged to apply for a Western Alliance Translation Grant (STaRRship).

If you are unsure about which grant to apply for, please discuss your project or application idea with your local Research Translation Coordinator, Olivia King or Peter Kelly (starrsupport@deakin.edu.au).

Key dates

  • Applications open: Monday 6 May
  • Applications close: Friday 5 July at 5pm
  • Notification of outcomes: Monday 29 July

Find out more or apply

 

To read about the 2023 grant recipients, click here 


Read more about STaRR below

Each year we invite Expressions of Interest for STaRR Research Mentors.

If you have experience in designing and implementing research studies/quality improvement projects, or experience developing and evaluating healthcare projects and programs, we’d love to hear from you.

STaRR Research Mentors support new and emerging practitioner researchers through the training program. The mentor can:

  • Provide feedback to their mentee/s
  • Share expertise and experiences
  • Suggest solutions to problems/challenges
  • Link the mentees with other researchers and networks
  • Support mentee/s to develop research skills and confidence

Mentors are not expected to undertake work for the mentees, monitor a mentee’s progress or be on call/meet with mentees without reasonable notice.

Mentors will be offered training opportunities, fully funded by Western Alliance, prior to supporting their matched mentee/s, and will be supported by experienced academic researchers. Benefits to mentors include:

  • The satisfaction of sharing your skills and experience with a willing learner
  • Extension of professional development record
  • Opportunity to reflect on own goals and practices
  • Opportunity to participate in health service-led research as a co-investigator
  • Opportunity to be included on a Western Alliance Emerging Researcher Grant application ($10K)
  • Build your knowledge and skills related to leading research translation in the healthcare context

STaRRlite aims to provide health practitioners (clinicians, program managers, and leaders) with foundational research knowledge to get started on a research project, or to support a team member to engage in research. It provides an entry point into research for those with little or no research experience.

Unlike the regular STaRR program, you do not need to have a research problem or idea to participate in STaRRlite. It is a one-off, half day online workshop with minimal preparation required.

The STaRRlite workshop comprises a mix of presentations, large and small group activities, and discussions and will be held via Zoom.

STaRRlite is open to all staff working at a Western Alliance member health organisation*. Western Alliance covers the cost of the workshop and those with little or no previous research experience are encouraged to participate.  

Click here to read more about STaRRlite. If you have further queries, please contact starrsupport@deakin.edu.au.

Registrations are closed for the inaugural STaRRlite workshop. Stay tuned for the next workshop to be announced later this year.

*STaRRlite open to staff at Barwon Health, Colac Area Health, East Grampians Health Service, Grampians Health, Portland District Health, Maryborough District Health Service, South West Healthcare, Western District Health Service, Western Victoria PHN 

2023 in numbers

  • 30 Emerging Researchers completed the three STaRR workshops
  • 5 STaRR Emerging Researchers presented at the STaRR Showcase at the Western Alliance Symposium in Warrnambool
  • 8 STaRR Emerging Researcher Grants awarded – 5 seed grant and 3 translation grants
  • 41 members of the STaRR Mentor Network
  • 14 STaRR Emerging Researchers participated in our inaugural Implementation Science workshops

 

STaRR Emerging Researcher Training 

A huge congratulations to our 2023 STaRR Emerging Researcher group who have now completed their training, with the third workshop held on 2 November. We are heartened by the engagement and enthusiasm of our emerging researchers and will continue to support and watch them with great interest! 

We would like to thank our fabulous STaRR Mentors, workshop presenters, and facilitators for their invaluable contributions to and support for the STaRR program. 

If you would like to learn more about the STaRR Emerging Researcher Training program, please get in touch with Olivia King. 

 

STaRR Emerging Researcher Showcase  

The annual STaRR Emerging Researcher Showcase was held for the second time during the Western Alliance Symposium in November. The audience was impressed with the sharp presentations delivered by five emerging researchers on their findings and learnings to date.  

A hearty congratulations to our five stellar emerging researcher presenters for 2023: Cara Hill (Barwon Health/ Grampians Health), Maree Fraser (East Grampians Health Service), Karen Pengelly (Grampians Health), April Chiu (Barwon Health), and Michael Pang (Barwon Health).   

We are thrilled that this event was once again a crowd favourite during the Symposium, and we look forward to running it again in 2024!  

 

STaRR Mentor Network 

We would like to sincerely thank our STaRR Mentors for another great year supporting our emerging researchers.  To meet some of our over 40 mentors, visit the STaRR Mentor Network webpage.

Although our official call for mentors for the 2023 STaRR program has closed, we welcome additional suitably experienced academic and health services researchers to our STaRR Mentor Network throughout the year. If you would like to get involved in the STaRR Mentor Network, please get in touch with Olivia King

To support STaRR Emerging Researchers conduct a translation-focused research project, Western Alliance offered two kinds of Emerging Researcher Grants in 2023:

Emerging Researcher Seed Grants of up to $5,000 for past STaRR participants to conduct a research project to generate new evidence, and
Emerging Researcher Translation grants of up to $10,000, for past STaRR participants and past Emerging Researcher grant recipients, to translate research evidence into practice.

To read about the 2023 grant recipients, click here.

 A total of 27 STaRR Emerging Researchers from 19 teams participated in the workshops. Twenty-seven mentors, and eight health managers/leaders participated in training throughout 2022.

Our STaRR emerging researcher cohort for 2022 includes people from allied health, mental health, medicine, nursing, and health program managers (e.g., health promotion, equity and access, virtual care). Our emerging researchers represent five Western Alliance member organisations: Barwon Health, Grampians Health, East Grampians Health Service, St John of God (Warrnambool), and Western District Health Service.

The inaugural STaRR (Supporting Translation of Research in Rural and Regional areas) training program concluded in November 2022. The first year of the STaRR program saw an impressive 114 participants, including 27 mentors, 32 managers and 55 emerging researchers, complete the training. Congratulations to all!

For our 55 STaRR emerging researchers, the real work has begun. Many are progressing and finalising their research protocols with the expert support and guidance of their STaRR-trained mentor. Some have even commenced their data collection!

We have received some useful feedback from training participants, which, combined with the findings of part of our formal evaluation, has given us a good sense of where the STaRR training program needs to head in future.

The pre- and post-training survey findings show that the program has led to improved research and research translation skills for many participants. As this testimonial highlights, the training proved to be valuable and worthwhile:

“Thank you for a fantastic program- very informative and the knowledge of speakers involved was next to none. Very worthwhile 2 days!”

Naturally, we are delighted to learn that the training met the needs of some participants and led to improved research and translation skills. We are also very encouraged to enhance the program further in response to feedback captured both informally and through the evaluation surveys.

Specifically, we recognise that we could do more to meet the training needs of emerging researchers with different baseline research skills and experience, and different goals. We are working behind the scenes to enhance the program so it can better support research and translation skill development in managers and leaders, who are critical to the success of any research or translation endeavour. We are also considering several other improvements to the STaRR program.